The Dead House by Anne Cassidy

Lauren and her aunt and uncle are returning to London after years living away in Cornwall. For Lauren it is a return to the sight of a terrible family tragedy and a house full of ghosts.When she was six years old her mum and little sister were murdered in their home…and Lauren’s dad was put in prison for the crime. Now she is living a stones’s throw from her old house, and despite her trepidation, Lauren is curious to know who lives there now, and how the house will make her feel. When she becomes friendly with Nathan, the son of the new owners, she finds herself back at the scene of so many nightmares…of memories, but also of things forgotten. Lauren blocked out a lot of that fateful day, but now that she’d older, things are coming back to her…things that could mean her dad is innocent, not guilty of murder. After all these years of hating him Lauren now faces the prospect of loving her dad once again. But is it that easy?

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15 thoughts on “The Dead House by Anne Cassidy

  1. The Dead House by Anne Cassidy was a gripping read. The story was really good, although it really didn’t strike me as one that I would enjoy at first, as it was a bit slow at the start; however as I got more into the book, the more enthralling the plot became. The twist at the end left me in shock! As the plot doesn’t give a lot away until the revelations at the very end of the book you are able to attempt to identify the murderer from the clues that start to slowly unravel as you read. This makes the book a real page turner, making it hard to put the book down. The imagery used by the author was very effective, and the simple language makes it suitable for all ages. I would recommend this book for those who like a murder mystery, and a thriller, but anyone could read it, as it isn’t a typical ‘who dunnit’ book. This book was definitely one of my favourites, and the plot was very convincing.

    By Olivia

  2. From reading the blurb of this book, I thought I would really enjoy it. It seemed like the sort of book I normally read. Lauren and her aunt and uncle return to London after years of living in Cornwall. When Lauren was six, a great tragedy occurred in her home and her father was put in prison for the crime. Back in her hometown Lauren is curious to know about her old house and how it will make her feel. She becomes friends with Nathan, the son of the new owners of the house and soon she finds herself at the scene of many nightmares and forgotten memories. Now that Lauren is older, she starts to remember things. Things that could mean her father is innocent. After all these years of hating him Lauren now faces the prospect of loving her dad once again. But can it be that easy? I thought this was a great book and I read it in a day. It wasn’t too long, which was good as it would have dragged on. I really liked the twist at the end. The book was quite serious in places so I liked it that the relationship with Nathan made this more enjoyable.

    By Kaajal

  3. On reading the title I thought I would enjoy this book, but it unfortunately didn’t live up to my expectations. The storyline had excellent potential but I found that it dragged in places and became harder for me to read.
    And, although this is probably due to the fact that I read a lot of horror and crime novels, I found the ending very predictable.

    However, this book is a reasonably easy-to-read thriller, and a quick read.

  4. I could not get into The Dead House at first but after the first few pages I found it really interesting and after that I was able to read it all the way through quite quickly :]

  5. I could not get into the book at first but then after a few pages it started getting really interesting so I read on and enjoyed the book all the way through 😀 x

  6. At first I couldn’t get into this book , but as I kept reading I started to enjoy it more and more through each page. I loved the twists in the book, they gave a very interesting turn in the book.

  7. I am not going to lie about this book, I do feel it was not amazing but there are parts of the book that added interest. The twists in the book are what makes the book a lot better. I think if you have not read it you should to see if you like it. If you like clever twists you should definitely read it. Enjoy 🙂

  8. I enjoyed reading this book, which surprised me as it definitely isn’t something that I would have picked up on my own- Hooray for NETBA! I found the story to be original, intriguing and a real page turner.

  9. I had high hopes for this book after reading Anne Cassidy’s other book Looking for JJ, however in a way the book slightly let me down. I didn’t particularly like the plot, and felt that nothing much really happened. On a more positive note, I like the relationship between the main characters and found all of the characters easy to relate too.
    By Karina

    I loved this book. It was very well written and kept me gripped. The story was really good, although it really didn’t strike me as one that I would enjoy at first, and the plot twist at the end had my mouth handing open for at least five minutes. The ending felt — somehow — incomplete and I had a strange confusion about the personalities of the characters (especially Donny) from the way they acted at the end. Lauren seemed like a slightly dull character throughout and she was almost too consistent in the way she reacted to everything. There were some parts of the book where I felt like screaming “Why are you so stubborn!?!” but at the end she really did seem to come alive and the sleepy tone of the book changed dramatically. Over all the book was very good and although it takes a bit of working at it is well worth reading.

    By Simran

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As the plot doesn’t give a lot away until the revelations at the very end of the book you are able to attempt to identify the murderer from the clues that start to slowly unravel as you read. This makes the book a real page turner, making it hard to put the book down. Cassidy kept my attention throughout the book with the gripping storyline. The murderer is not whom you would expect and this added to the book’s overall appeal as it definitely did not have a predictable ending. I had a list of the possible endings for the book and this one did not even cross my mind.
    The book is about a seventeen year old girl trying to piece together the limited knowledge that she has to explain about a terrible incident that took place in her old house in London when she was seven. As the whole book centres around this one house, you get to know the house as much as you would a character which adds personification to the book.
    You really get to know the characters when reading this book- especially main character Lauren. The use of flashbacks and letters were done well; they added more detail to the book and allowed you to learn a lot more about the characters. You easily relate to Lauren’s emotions towards her past and feel like you know her by the end of the book. I loved the fact that the book wasn’t all about the events in the past and the murder, but contained the character Nathan who brought a welcome break to the serious main plot. Nathan also meant that Lauren could spend time in the old house where the bewildering events occurred, allowing her to have more flashbacks which added to the reader’s knowledge of what went on in the house many years ago.
    The descriptive language used by Anne Cassidy made me develop detailed pictures of characters and the house in my mind. The simple language of the book would make it easy to read and people of all ages would get pleasure from doing so.
    I would recommend this book to all those who enjoy murder mystery books as it contains all that a good murder mystery book should. It can also be recommended to those who don’t usually enjoy this genre of books as it is a tremendous story.
    I couldn’t fault this book. It kept me interested and although the storyline could have been unbelievable if not done well, Cassidy allows us to get involved with the story, making the plot convincing. A book well worth reading!

    By Hilary

    The Dead House is, in my opinion, quite frankly, fantastic! It is books such as this that I can’t wait till the next chance I have to read a few pages! I think the most appealing feature of the novel is that it is spookily intriguing with the mystery of Grace and Daisy Ashe’s murder but there is also a romantic element shown between Lauren and Nathan. Anne Cassidy has shown such imagination and skill in being able to craft a book that draws attention like The Dead House drew mine.
    The link between the house in which Lauren Ashe’s mother and sister were murdered in and the house in which her boyfriend lives is very interesting and it is easy to empathise with Lauren’s awkward dilemma. Can she ever go back into Number 49 Hazelwood Road, the very house where she saw her father killing her mother and baby sister? The technique of using Lauren’s memories of her childhood to explain the plot of the story and the murder of her family is extremely effective! The way that Anne Cassidy makes Lauren convince us that her father committed the murder at the start of the novel, just makes the book more fascinating as Lauren remembers more and more of the fateful night in London as the story goes on.
    My favourite part of The Dead House was when Lauren was staying over at Nathan’s and her childhood home. After having a bit too much to drink, she mustered the courage to go upstairs in the dark of the night to face the horrors the room where the murders took place ten years ago. The dream that Lauren has whilst lying on her dead mother’s bed literally put me on edge! The way Anne Cassidy builds up the suspense in a series of footsteps coming up the stairs and the inability to stop the danger, made me, and still makes me tingle with raw but excited fear whenever I think about it!
    This book has made me even more excited and happy about signing up to do the North East Book Award because I know for a fact that as well as staying in my mind for a very long time, The Dead House will definitely be a book that I am confident in recommending to fellow peers. I cannot express how much I enjoyed parts of this book although I would have liked to know a little bit more about Donny’s relationship with Alison as this confused me slightly. Once again, a book that is most worthy of the shortlist and possibly even the winner!

    By Jessica

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